Believe it or not, but blueberries seem to belong to the kind of delicious food rich in flavors and great for health improvement. They are close to the top on the list of the best, commercially available antioxidant fruits. They have even been categorized as super foods. The substance responsible for their strong antioxidant action is called anthocyanin. It is a type of (bio)flavonoid, and these substances in general are known to have dual action – they promote health and have substantial therapeutic effects.
Therefore, there is no better recommendation that to reach out for and capitalize on the numerous health related benefits of blueberries. If you are wondering how much is enough, just take one cup of blueberries daily, or even better, prepare some delightful, healthy juice out of them alone, or in combination with some other fruits. Apart from juicing in a juice extractor there is another possibility – you can prepare a healthy smoothie out of them. Either way, make sure that there are no fruits with marks of mould formation, and … happy juicing.
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Apart from their antioxidant action, blueberries contain a lot of vitamin C, minerals and fibers. One cup of this fruit contains 12 milligrams of vitamin C, less then a milligram of Mn, about 5 grams of fiber, and relatively low calorie content. Remember that these micro nutrients are beneficial substances primarily due to their organic origin – unlike some of the supplements which contain minerals and vitamins of inorganic origin. Blueberries are a real mine of beneficial minerals, especially calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin C.
When consumed raw, blueberries will be quite beneficial also to those who struggle with weight problems. They are rich in vegetable fibers and thus will promote a feeling of satiety. Unlike the fresh berries that will gently cleanse the body, the dried blueberries will stop diarrhea.
The beneficial effect of blueberries can be seen in the improving of some heart conditions, cancer prevention, sight improvement, and preventing infections of the urinary tract. Some studies suggest that the dark pigments in blueberries are likely to be responsible for lowering of cholesterol blood levels, while the antioxidants may help prevent colon cancer. Last, but not least, the lutein is held responsible for preventing issues of macular degeneration.
Blueberries May Improve Memory
In an article published in the ACS Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, experts point out that studies on animals have shown that blueberries may improve memory in older adults. A group of subjects older than 70 years were given a cup of blueberry juice in the morning during a period of two months. The control group was given a drink without blueberries. The subjects who consumed blueberry juice had better scores on memory and learning tests. As the authors of this research study say, the preliminary results are encouraging, and suggest that the continuous consumption of blueberry juice could delay or mitigate neurodegeneration.
In the absence of effective therapy for dementia, there is always the preventive approach where blueberries, amongst the other healthy foods, can indeed help.
Picking Up and Storing of Blueberries
During the summer period, it is much easier to purchase some delightful blueberries at green markets and use them fresh. Those more fortunate might even come in a position to hand pick some blueberries on a farm or in wilderness. Only those berries which are of deep blue color are ripe and ready to be picked. They should be consumed within a couple of days or, alternatively, they should be frozen for later use. If put in plastic bags without prior washing they will stay in the fridge and preserve their health values for a prolonged period of time.